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st: data type question

From   Rike <>
To   statalist <>
Subject   st: data type question
Date   Wed, 18 Feb 2009 16:01:37 -0500

Dear Statalist,

when using "compress" to free up room in the memory, i see that some
variables have their data types changed from byte to float. When I
look at stata's help file for data types however, it says that "byte"
takes up 1 byte, while "float" takes up 4 bytes.

My questions:
1) why is it that stata changes data types from byte to float when
float is supposed to take up more space?
2) In order to free up space, is it better to manually set the
variable to "byte" when I generate them? (rather than compressing,
that is)

Thanks in advance.
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